james brown memorial trust kalyra heights village extension

south australia 

a bold innovative shift in independent living has delivered 14 two storey dwellings which provide environmentally sensitive, luxury accomodation for the Baby Boomer generation


AIA SA Chapter Commendation in the Category: Residential: Multiple Housing



This is the fifth project undertaken for the James Brown Memorial Trust since 2008. 

James Brown was a nineteenth century Scottish migrant farmer and his widow, Jessie inherited significant assets. She began the James Brown Memorial Trust in 1892 to care for the aged and disadvantaged.

The Trust established the Belair Village, providing a continuum of aged care living on one site.

This latest stage is a bold, innovative shift in the delivery of independent living.

Located on steeply sloping land and enjoying serenity, a bushland setting and spectacular views, the Trust tried unsuccessfully to develop the land with sixteen of the tried and tested single storey model in 1996.  Council did not welcome the density and retaining wall.

The Trustees were inspired by new leadership to try again with a different design that responded to the raised expectations of the baby boomer generation by providing 14 larger, two storey dwellings with vastly improved accommodation, environmental performance and amenity.

Council encouraged a design to minimize earthworks, tree removal and gave tight height parameters.  Cost constraints on an unforgivingly steeply sloped site, also in a severe Bushfire Attack Level, influenced material selection.

The design allows living on one level, including a double garage, rarely attempted in this sector. The upper level provides a main bedroom with bathroom and open plan living, and balcony, connected with the living area and entrance.  The lower level provides two bedroom spaces for hobbies and grandchildren and a second, north facing balcony.  Views are instantly apparent upon entering the dwelling and framed by trees.

Key design parameters were minimizing earthworks, limiting the height of each dwelling, creating a stepped appearance to satisfy Council expectations and providing an access road that allowed CFS access and a gentle gradient for residents.  Council required landscaped spaces between duplexes, resulting in duplexes being angled to suit contours.  A central bridge spans a natural creek bed.

The project took four years to achieve planning consent. From there it progressed on time and within budget from June 2015 with the first residents in occupation in November 2016.  The project and every minor amendment has been guided by a patient and trusting planning consultant.

The project team had skills in tree assessment, earthworks design, cost planning, economic structure, interior design, energy efficiency, services and landscaping.

Allowance was made for rock and through careful cost monitoring, regular reporting and close consultation with the Trust, particularly with selections and structure, the project met financial parameters.

Each building performs to a high energy rating with double glazed doors and windows that deliver thermal comfort, reduce noise from Belair Road and satisfy Bushfire parameters.  Solar panels and Solar Hot Water are installed to take advantage of northern aspect.   A 30,000L rainwater tank is installed to each duplex for bushfire sprinklers, storm water detention and bathroom supply.

This project has satisfied bold client expectations in delivering the required density and innovative, luxurious accommodation that creates a new standard in independent living for the Baby Boomer generation.

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